FILE - Pennsylvania State Capitol

The Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Taxpayer Protection Act advanced by committee

A bill that seeks to limit how much the budget of the state of Pennsylvania can grow in any given year was advanced Tuesday by the House State Government Committee.

House Bill 1316 would amend the state constitution and dictate that state government spending can only grow by a measure tied to inflation and population growth.

The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Ryan Warner, said that total government spending has risen by 101 percent since 1970 – even after accounting for inflation.

Warner’s bill now goes to the full House of Representatives for consideration.

Resolutions to back dairy industry get support

Two U.S. congressmen came to the Pennsylvania Statehouse on Tuesday to make a case for federal legislation that seeks to increase the consumption of whole milk in public schools.

U.S. Reps. G.T. Thompson and Fred Keller attended a meeting of the state House’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee and came away with the committee’s unanimous support in the form of a resolution endorsing two federal bills, the Whole Milk for Healthy Kids Act and the Dairy Pride Act.

The whole milk bill seeks to reverse regulations that mandate that skim milk be served to schoolchildren, and the other legislation calls on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to restrict the ability of non-dairy products to be labeled as milk, yogurt or cheese.

United Way seeks to highlight those struggling to get by

The United Way of Pennsylvania on Tuesday released a report showing that 1.2 million people in the state are considered to be above the federal poverty line but still struggle to make ends meet.

The group released what it calls the “ALICE report,” an acronym referring to people who are “asset-limited, income-constrained, employed.” The report generated a “survival budget” for each Pennsylvania county that it says is a better measure for residents’ ability to get by than the federal povery level.

“ALICE is a lot of hard-working Pennsylvanians who are essential to our state’s economy,” said Kristen Rotz, president of UWP, in a news release. “ALICE can be a child care worker, nursing assistant, office worker or retail associate. Our communities would not thrive without the contributions of ALICE.”

Regional Editor

Dave Lemery is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience. He was the editor of Suburban Life Media when its flagship newspaper was named best weekly in Illinois, and he has worked at papers in South Carolina, Indiana, Idaho and New York.